Review: The Irishman
I heard you paint houses.
Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) is a former union worker who becomes a hitman for Russell Bufalino. (Joe Pesci) He also forms a friendship with Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and reluctantly has a hand in his death.
I was only familiar with Jimmy Hoffa's name before watching this. I didn't know anything about the Teamsters and since I knew I was going to be sitting through nearly four hours of this film, I didn't bother researching because I assumed Scorcese would tell me everything I needed to know. And he did, this film is very thorough.
De Niro, Pesci and Pacino are very good. Pesci was probably my favorite, all three give wonderful performances and I imagine we'll be seeing all of them throughout Oscar season. As someone who watched The Godfather Parts I and II about 10 times this year, seeing Pacino screaming at people was a nice call back to that. The film is also littered with great actors, mostly from Boardwalk Empire and it was nice to see them pop up here and there. Even though it often left me wishing we'd see more of them. This is clearly the trio's movie. No one else comes close to mattering as much as they do.
I liked the film overall. I think the time period was captured so well and I loved seeing who was going to cameo next. I felt I learned something from the story and I can see why Scorcese really wanted to make this film. I really only had two issues with it.
The biggest struggle for me in this film was the pacing, which I usually never take issue with in Scorcese's films. The first hour flies by then the middle of the film comes to a screeching halt. I understand why its so long, but I was never unaware that I was watching a 3 and a half hour movie. It doesn't start picking up again until the end and was just very inconsistent. I didn't hate any part of it, plenty of movies have little slumps, they just don't last an hour and a half.
Much has been made about the digital de-aging process and I don't think they were nearly as successful as those "theme park" movies Scorcese hates so much. No matter what age we're watching Frank, Russell, or Jimmy, they all still move like 70 year old men and their eyes are constantly watering, which draws a lot of attention to the fact that you're watching VFX. You get used to it, but I don't think it's as good as many people were saying.
Memorable Quote: "Why haven't you called Jo?" - Peggy Sheeran (Anna Paquin)